November 21, 2007

Gardening on the cheap

First on the not-so-cheap spectrum, I broke down and hired a yard service or more like a yard man. For the past year a co-worker has talked of the wonderful ex-marine who does battle with her yard. After I suffered a huge defeat in leaf pick-up last fall and a complete degradation in back yard maintenance this summer, I signed up. I’ve never loved my yard as much as I have for the past month. Now when I look at my yard I see manageable projects to be tackled, not a horror story in the making.

On to the cheap! As you’ve all heard by now Atlanta and the south east is under a severe drought, to the point where we could actually run out of drinking water. Two recent additions to our yard center around these drought conditions.

bird bath

For $12 we bought a 16 inch terracota dish and used an old plant stand to create a fully functioning bird bath / back yard drinking spot for the local fauna. After exhaustive research, it seemed that even the ugliest, cheapest bird baths still cost $30, so this was a huge win. In the future I may even mosaic the surface of the dish, for extra decorative flair.

rain barrel

Do you know how expensive official rain barrels cost? I found they started around $50 for a “kit” and went up well over $100. As a first step in water collection we rigged up two, 32-gallon, $4 trash cans. We set them up by two primary downspouts on our house. When it starts to rain we run out and move the downspout hose into the trash can. The cans have lids to keep debris and bugs out of the collected water. Presto! Cheap and easy rainwater.

We will probably upgrade to a barrel system with an overflow feature, but for now we have plenty of water for yard projects and birdbaths, all for under ten bucks.

1 Comment

  1. Maybe you should pray for a rain barrel. :)

    Comment by ms. robin — November 23, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

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